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Is School Safe? How to Check Your Anxiety About Sending Kids Back

There was a time when parents struggling with remote learning (read: all parents) saw sending kids back to school as the promised land, a welcome relief to the return of whatever “normal” awaited.

But with COVID-19 continuing to spread, parents around the U.S. have justifiable fear about the dangers facing children, teachers and themselves. Many are asking if their kids should go back to school and are opting to home-school or go fully remote. Others are biting their fingernails as they prepare to send their kids out the door.

At the risk of giving parents another thing to worry about: Experts say parents’ own anxiety may be making the situation worse.

“Kids take their cues from their parents about how to react to the events that are going on around them,” says Nadine Burke Harris, the Surgeon General of California and an expert in child trauma. “If they cue into their parents’ stress, that can activate the child’s stress response.”

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